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21-01-2020 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

Moderate-to-severe low back pain tied to fall risk in knee OA patients

medwireNews: Researchers have identified an association between the presence of moderate-to-severe low back pain (LBP) and risk for falls among patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Among 189 community-dwelling adults aged an average of 74 years, the 45 who reported having moderate-to-severe LBP were significantly more likely to have experienced at least one fall in the preceding year than those without moderate-to-severe LBP, at rates of 37.8% and 16.6%, respectively. The proportion of patients experiencing at least two falls was also higher among those with versus without moderate-to-severe LBP, at 26.7% versus 8.3%.

After adjustment for factors including age, sex, knee pain, and quadriceps muscle strength, these findings translated into a 2.9-fold higher risk for any falls, and a 3.7-fold higher risk for two or more falls, among people with moderate-to-severe LBP, report Hirotaka Iijima (Keio University, Yokohama, Japan) and team.

Noting that fall rates were numerically, but not significantly, higher among patients with any LBP compared with those without, the researchers say that “LBP severity may be a crucial factor for recurrent falls.”

They conclude in Arthritis Care & Research that future studies should “determine the causality [of the associations shown] and ascertain the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions for LBP for the prevention of falls in people with knee OA.”

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

Arthritis Care Res 2020; doi:10.1002/acr.24136